Into the Deep Page 21

“It’s a little tame.”

“It’s too early in the night for anything racier.”

He quirked an eyebrow. “But you were thinking something racy?”

“Let’s just say I like your costume. A lot.”

As Jake slowed at a red light, he turned to look at me, his eyes drifting down my body and back up again. “I like your costume a lot too.”

After speaking to Lacey and Rose about costumes for the Halloween dance, I knew my cop costume was nowhere near as revealing as what they planned to wear, but my girlie cop costume was tight, so tight my dad nearly had an apoplectic fit. There was a point I didn’t think he’d let me out the door, but my mom managed to talk him around. I didn’t see what the problem was—I wasn’t showing any cle**age or leg. Okay, so maybe the pants fit like a second skin and I was wearing a padded bra under the snug blue shirt, but other than that, it was perfectly acceptable attire.

“Lukas is dressed like a robber too.”

I smiled. “Why?”

“Because it was an easy costume.”

“That’s really why you chose it, right?”

“Nope.” He smiled boyishly. “I chose it to increase the possibility of you using those cuffs on me later.”

Sometimes I wondered if he was trying to fluster me when he said stuff like that, but he really should know better by now. I patted the cuffs clipped to my belt. “Well, if you play your cards right …”

Unfortunately, Jake was hard to catch off guard. Rather than choke and get all turned on like any normal sixteen-year-old boy would, he just smiled like I amused him. “Baby, we ever really use cuffs, I won’t be the one in them.”

Now I was the one making strangled noises. “Jake!”


“We’re sixteen!”

He laughed as he pulled into the school parking lot. “So?”

“It’s one thing to joke about it but another to actually ... you’re like a thirty-year-old trapped in a teenage boy’s body.”

“Wow.” Jake stopped the engine and turned to me. “I did it. I finally got you ruffled. Over handcuffs.” He winked at me. “I’ll keep that in mind.” He got out of the truck before I could punch him in the arm.

I got out after him. “You’re not funny.”

“I’m hilarious.” He pulled me into his side, letting go of my hand so he could wrap his arm around my waist.

Approaching school we saw a bunch of freshman hanging out at the main entrance. A tall kid dressed head to toe in black turned and I recognized him instantly. Lukas. Jake and I had been dating for almost two months and had each been to the other’s house for dinner. This meant I’d spent some time with his brother only to discover that Lukas was a younger version of Jake, brimming over with cocky charm and charisma.

As we drew to a stop in front of him, Lukas gave me a body scan as he whistled. “Looking hot, Charlotte.”

“Luke, eyes up or I’ll detach your retinas,” Jake warned.

Lukas grinned mischievously. “Not my fault your girlfriend is hot.”

“Lukas, stop checking me out. It’s weird. You’re a fetus.”

Looking affronted, Lukas held his hands to his chest. “Moi? I’ll have you know I’ve been sweeping women off their feet since I was five. I have a wealth of experience, baby. Ditch the old guy and I’ll show you the time of your life.”

“You need to stop spending time with your brother.” I glanced up at Jake, glaring at him. “He needs to stop spending time with you.”

Jake’s body shook against mine as he laughed quietly. “This,” he gestured to Lukas, “has nothing to do with me. If this is how I act, shoot me, shoot me now.”

“Pfft.” Lukas made a face. “You wish you had my game.”

Jake closed his eyes as if in pain. “It hurts, it physically hurts.”

I laughed and tugged on Jake’s waist. “C’mon. Let’s leave the player to play.”

Throwing me a wink scarily like the one Jake had given me in the car, Lukas turned back to his friends and my boyfriend led me into the dance. Lacey and Rose hurried over as we strolled into the darkened gymnasium, avoiding black and orange streamers, string, and fake webs. A paper spider fluttered into my face, almost scratching my cornea. I batted it away, tripping over Jake’s foot.

“Someone overdid it on the decorations,” I grumbled as Jake righted me.

“What are you wearing?” Lacey screeched and I turned in Jake’s arms with wide eyes.

“Ow!” I shook my ear out pointedly.

Lacey winced. “Sorry. But what are you wearing?”

“My cop costume. I told you.”

“But … I thought it would be like a skirt version. A short skirt version.” She gestured meaningfully to her and Rose’s costumes. Lacey was wearing a sexy vampire outfit, her dress a good few inches above her knees, while Rose was wearing a very short sexy nurse costume. Both were also showing off a lot of cle**age. It was a wonder they’d gotten past the chaperones, but as I studied the room, I saw there were quite a few sexy outfits and a lot of uncomfortable-looking male teachers. “The tight pants are hot, I’ll grant you, but a skirt would’ve been hotter.”

“I think she looks great,” Jake interjected.

Lacey rolled her eyes. “Of course you do.” She grabbed Rose’s hand and dragged her away. Rose, who hadn’t even gotten the chance to say hi, gave me a weak wave and followed Lacey through the crowd.

“Hey, Jake,” a senior girl cooed as she walked past. She was wearing the same sexy nurse costume as Rose.

“Hey,” he gave her a small nod but turned back to me.

I raised an eyebrow at him. “You are good.”

“Good, how?”

“She just gave you ‘the nod’ while wearing a naughty nurse costume and you barely batted an eyelash. I appreciate the effort that must’ve taken.” I squeezed his hand.

Jake didn’t laugh, however. Instead he ducked his head, his lips grazing my ear as he replied, “I’ve got the most beautiful girl in the room on my arm. Why would I look elsewhere?”

I shivered and leaned closer into him as he grazed his lips across my neck.

“Dance with me?”

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